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What Are Mental Health Disorders?

mental health

What Are Mental Health Disorders?

What are mental health disorders? These are also commonly referred to as mental illnesses or mental psychiatric diseases, and they are medical conditions which cause a problem with the normal thought processes, emotions, mood stability, social interactions, and even normal functioning on a daily basis. Mental health disorders affect a large percentage of the population, and these conditions can cover a wide range of symptoms and behavior. The cause of mental health disorders can be a variety of factors, and these can include the genes, neurobiological causes, the environment, emotional factors, stress, and others. Roughly half of the people who experience these conditions will show symptoms before the age of fourteen years old.


Many individuals who suffer from mental health disorders do not seek treatment for their symptoms, in part because of the stigma attached with this type of illness. Mental health disorders are as real as physical diseases, but they may be harder to treat because some of the symptoms are not obvious to medical professionals or may indicate a number of illnesses without being specific. The rate of substance abuse among individuals who suffer from mental health disorders is much higher than what is seen in the general population, in part because the individual often self medicates with alcohol and street drugs. Jails and prisons across the country are full of individuals who have mental illnesses and have been caught up by the strict drug laws and the widespread closing of hospitals for these conditions over the last two decades.


Individuals who suffer from mental health disorders and substance abuse issues will receive a dual diagnosis. The substance abuse and addiction must be stopped so that effective medications can be given to control the mental health disorders. This requires a residential facility that is experienced in treating both mental illness and substance abuse. If these mental diseases are not treated they will continue to worsen over time, resulting in more severe symptom and frequently increased substance abuse as well. While the individual may think that the substance abuse helps it actually only makes the condition worse, and can lead to a deadly spiral.


Not all mental health disorders are severe enough to require hospitalization. Depression and other forms of mental illness may be mild, and while they can interfere with the quality of life and daily moods the mild forms of these disorders may not require a lengthy hospitalization to treat. When substance abuse is added and the individual has a dual diagnosis this complicates treatment, and a residential setting is usually required at least in the initial stages. Mental health disorders can successfully be treated and controlled, but adding alcohol and street drugs on top of a mental illness is a recipe for disaster.


Possible mental health disorders include:


  Bipolar Disorder Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD


Social Phobia Disorder

Anxiety Disorder

Personality Disorder


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD


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